City Re-certifies Coast Guard City Status; Annexation Approved; More Opposition for Quince Street Hotel; Bridge Work Continues

City Re-certifies Coast Guard City Status

The City of Florence officially proclaimed august first as Coast Guard City day as the city receives its recertification as a coast guard city.  At last night’s city council meeting Mayor Joe Henry read the proclamation making it official.  Mayor Henry said as  the smallest city to hold such an honor, it was one of his proudest moments during his tenure as Mayor.

“I will match our Coast Guard Station Siuslaw with anyone anywhere in the country.”

He reintroduced the current Chief of the Coast Guard Station, Senior Chief Nathan Jakubowski who spoke to the council and audience in attendance.

“It’s certainly a thing that the station is very proud of.  I know the guys at the station love being a coast guard city.  I personally love seeing it every time I drive into Florence and I see that sign that says Coast Guard City Florence, I’m like this is the coolest place I’ve ever been at so far.”

There will be another recognition of the Coast Guard this evening at the National Night out at Miller Park at 5:30.

Annexation Approved

The City of Florence approved the annexation of 3.5 acres of property that is the current site of a residential park owned by Dennis and Faith Elmer.  The council heard testimony from Dennis Elmer regarding the wishes to be annexed in part to receive city services at the location.  Elmer also said that at some point he would like to upgrade some of the existing mobile homes on the property that are in poor condition and was assured that it would not be an issue in the future.  The council unanimously approved the annexation of the property located on Highway 101 just SE of Heceta Beach Road.

More Opposition for Quince Street Hotel

The assignment of the Quince Street property for a Wyndham Microtel is still a point of contention for some, but now the focus has moved to the financing of the project.  The City Council considered a payment plan for the transference of the property and was met with opposition from President and CEO of Hoagland Properties in Florence, Ron Moore.

“What we have here is tantamount to a ten year interest free loan.  Either this project if Viable and it can be successful on its own or its not.  We’ve already given some of the assets of the city in order to bring the hotel and that’s a decision that the city  made and that’s one that we’ll live by, however we do not need to give away interest free loans in the city.”

The motion ultimately passed with one dissenting counselor.  Counselor Wantz said she could not approve the interest free part of the resolution and therefore voted against the recommendation of the city staff.  The next step for the developer will to address the planning commission on August 23.

Bridge Work Continues

The Siuslaw River Bridge will once again be undergoing some repairs beginning tomorrow. The work will be done overnight from 7pm until 5am through Friday.  There could be a closure of up to an hour during the replacement of pins that lock the lift spans together when the bridge is down.  Normal delays can be up to 20 minutes.  There will be flaggers in place overnight to regulate bridge traffic.